Indang Dance – If we talk about art and culture from the island of Sumatra, then of course
it will never end. One of the provinces that we will discuss about traditional arts on this
occasion is West Sumatra.
Besides being rich in tourist and culinary destinations, the area which has the iconic Jam Gadang also has
very diverse traditional cultures, one of which is dance. In general, art in this area
describes the habits of life of the people.
One of the most famous arts from this province is the Indang Dance which comes from the Pariaman area,
especially the Minangkabau tribe. This dance was later transformed into a popular and
well-known traditional art in Indonesia.
The word ‘ indang ‘ in the name of this dance comes from the Minang language which means a small
tambourine. The other name for the indang dance is the dindin badindin dance.
In the dance process, this dance is almost the same as the saman dance from Aceh. The
difference is that the indang dance has a slower or slower tempo.
In fact, this traditional dance is a dance resulting from acculturation or a mixture of cultures between
Islamic religious culture and local Minang culture. This is because the early appearance of
this traditional art was brought by Islamic scholars from the Aceh region to the land of Padang
At first, this indang dance existed as a means to develop Islamic religious teachings in the Minang
community. This dance also has its own function to fill one’s spiritual needs.
This is reflected because of the psychological value contained in the lyrics of the Indang dance song.
This is believed to be able to stimulate the spiritual community, especially in the field of
religion and also customs.
Indang dance movements are generally dominated by dynamic, agile and varied movements. One of
the movements that is the identity or characteristic of the Indang dance is the snap of the fingers and the
clapping of the hands.
As a performing art, the indang dance will not only present performances in the cultural and social context
of society. But also introduce about religious values. This dance originates from
a mosque or surau in the Minang area and is performed by boys aged 7-15 years.
Over time, this dance continues to grow and is known by many people. The art of the Indang
dance is guarded and preserved in the land of Pariaman.
To find out a more complete explanation about getting to know the Indang dance, its history and properties, see
the information below. Check this out!
History of Indang Dance
At the beginning of its appearance, the indang dance was first introduced by Sheikh Burhanuddin around the
13th or 14th century. This happened in order to spread the religion of Islam in all corners of
the land of West Sumatra.
In another source, it is stated that the dance which is called the dindin badinding dance actually
originated from Arab traders who were anchored in Minangkabau. Apart from trading, they also
have the goal of spreading Islam in the West Sumatra region through this trade route. It was on
this path that interactions between Arab traders and the people of the Minang land coast took place.
After that, it is said that one of the religious figures following Syekh Burhanuddin, named Rapa’I, began
to introduce the indang dance at a Tabuik celebration festival in Pariaman. This festival is a
local celebration of the people who live in the coastal areas of West Sumatra. This festival
also actually aims to commemorate the death of Imam Husein bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad
Since then, this indang dance has always been included in every Tabuik celebration performance, even up to
now. At the beginning of its emergence, Rapa’I used percussion such as tambourine (a round flat
drum made of a wooden tube which is rather wide at the end and has a short height) as a musical
At that time, this dance was considered a sacred dance because it contained sipatuang sirah or a group of
parents who had supernatural powers in each dance group.
This dance has a function as a medium of da’wah for scholars to spread Islam. Apart from that,
this dance has rules in each performance. There are two types of dance staging rules, namely
the ascending and descending indang rules.
This rising indang dance will be performed at the beginning or the first day at night around 11-12 at
night. As for the indang Bawah, it will be performed at dusk or in the evening and after the
Maghrib prayer. But now, this rule is no longer used.
This traditional dance also represents the very down-to-earth people of Padang Pariaman. They
also respect each other and obey the commands of God Almighty. If at first this dance was only
for the media of preaching, then over time, the function of this dance has turned into a dance for
entertainment as well.
Function and Meaning of Indang Dance
Every traditional art from a region, must have its own purpose, function, and meaning contained in the art.
Likewise with this traditional dance from the land of Padang Pariaman. Even though the
Indang dance has now undergone many changes and transitions due to changing times, the core values of the
dance will still be there.
These values will actually still exist, even if seen from the outside, this traditional dance has
undergone many changes. The meaning contained in this dance is a description of how Islam
entered the West Sumatra region. This is reflected in the lyrics of the song and its
If you examine more deeply from the beginning to the end of the dance, you can see how the dancers tell
about the greatness of the Islamic religion they believe in. The dancers also tell about the
beginning of the arrival of Islam to the land of Sumatra, especially Minang. So it can be
concluded that this indang dance has a meaning about the symbols of Islam in Minang land.
At first, this traditional dance served as a means of education and providing education to the surrounding
community about Islamic values. In addition, this traditional art is also useful as a means of
preaching and conveying praise and accompaniment to the blessings of the Prophet Muhammad as contained in
each of his Islamic verses.
However, currently the indang dance also functions as a means of public entertainment and is often
performed at various events. Both religious events, customs, to state events that are formal,
semi-formal, to non-formal.
In religious events, for example, this indang dance is performed at the Tabuik Pariaman Festival or the
commemoration of the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson on the 10th of Muharram every year.
On the other hand, the Indang dance is also often performed to welcome guests, both from within and
outside the country.
At other events, Indang dance is also often displayed in celebrations. Such as for weddings,
traditional ceremonies, appointment of princes, performing arts, and so on.
Indang Dance Movement
At the beginning of the dance performance, which has another name as the dindin badindin dance, there will
be two groups of dancers lined up parallel from left to right. Then, the dancers will begin to
perform various movements. Of the several dancers, some immediately sat down, but there were
also dancers who made several movements while standing before then sitting cross-legged.
When all the dancers have sat cross-legged, the dancer will place the indang in front of them.
After that, the dancers will salute by bringing their palms together in front of their
When the musical instrument starts, the dancers will start moving and produce sounds. This
sound can come from the indangnya or it can also be from the dancer’s clapping. At this time,
dancers will adjust their dance moves to match the tempo of the music.
The movements of the Indang dance are quite varied. Starting from the dancers who alternately
bend their bodies to the right and left, there are also times when the dancers move alternately forward and
backward as well. This movement continues to change starting from the beginning of the show, in
the middle, until the end of the show.
What is certain about the movements of the indang dance is that there is an implicit meaning in it.
The following is an explanation of the meaning implied in every movement of the indang dance or
dindin badinding dance.
1. Offering movement
The first movement in the indang dance performance is called the offering movement. This is
because the movement shown has a meaning as a reminder and respect for people who have contributed to the
spread of Islam.
In addition, this movement also has a function and meaning as an apology to traditional leaders as well as
mamak and ninik who were present at the performance. Not to forget,
apologies and respect are also addressed to other dance groups that have performed or will be
2. Nago core movement
In this core movement, it consists of several movements, such as elbow antak, bago baranang, and alang
tabang. The meaning of this movement itself is a story that tells how one’s efforts are made to
achieve one’s goals.
This is also related to how the struggle was carried out by scholars and preachers in spreading the
teachings of Islam in the past. Meanwhile, the movement of the alang tabang itself tells the
story of the happiness and joy of the local people.
3. Closing movement
The closing movement is the last variety of movements performed by the dancers before ending the
performance. This movement hints at the etiquette of apologizing to the people of Minang land.
In addition, this gesture is also a symbol of apology to the audience who have watched the show
before parting ways.
Indang Dance Floor Pattern
As with traditional dances from other regions, this indang dance also has its own floor pattern.
The floor pattern certainly functions to form dance formations to make them more meaningful and
more beautiful to look at.
Based on the performance of the dance, in general this dance is presented using a horizontal floor pattern
or a parallel form from left to right. In one show, usually the dancers will only form one
formation or straight banjar. However, there are also those who add other floor patterns, such
as the shape of the letters V and V inverted, zig zag, circular, up to two or three people in pairs.
The number of dancers in the indang dance performance is actually not always the same or there are no
special rules. However, generally this dance is danced by 5 dancers to more than 25
Because in ancient times women were not allowed to show themselves in public, this dance was only performed
by male dancers. But now, female dancers can participate in performing this dance, even at the
same time as male dancers, provided they keep their genitals closed.
As is known, every movement of this dance symbolizes the teachings of Islam. For example, when
a dancer moves his hand and snaps his fingers, it is said that based on the story, this movement is signaled
as a form of praise to Allah SWT.
Indang Dance Clothing and Makeup
Clothing or costumes used in a dance performance will generally describe where the dance originates from.
This is the same as the costumes used by the dancers in the indang dance performance.
The female dancers will of course wear traditional clothes typical of Minangkabau or Malay.
Then various kinds of accessories will be added to support her appearance, such as loose-fitting
clothes, loose-fitting black pants, headdresses, and don’t forget the typical Minang sarong.
Meanwhile, male dancers are not much different from female dancers. They also wear
loose-fitting clothes, long black pants, headdresses and typical Minang sarongs. Apart from
that, for the attire of the Dhikr performers or the singers of the poems that are the accompaniment to the
dance, they usually wear only loose koko clothes.
The thing that distinguishes the clothing of female dancers and male dancers is that female dancers must
wear a headscarf or headscarf. This is done so as not to lose the image and initial meaning of
the Indang dance as a medium of propaganda in broadcasting Islam.
The color of the clothing used in this dance is also free, it can be red, gold, or black.
Meanwhile, for the make-up, both female and male dancers have no specific provisions for what their
facial makeup should be.
The important thing about the makeup is that the dancers become more pleasing to the eye. You
don’t need to overdo it, but don’t overdo it either. In addition, the make-up should not be too
thick or too long, but still show the dancer’s joy and grace.
Property of Indang Dance
The property used in the performance of one of the traditional dances from Minang is quite simple, namely
only the musical instrument in the form of an indang. But now, this musical instrument which is
also known as ripai is rarely used.
In line with the times, this dance also made several modifications including the function of musical
instruments. After no longer using indang as a sound producer, currently this wall dance uses
the stage floor as a substitute for sound sources.
This is because the stage floor is a bit like an indang, the stage floor can also produce sound when tapped
by the dancers. In addition, if in the past there were some dancers who used tambourines as
accessories to support performances, then even that tambourine was rarely used. The difference
is, the tambourine is replaced by the dancer’s hand clapping on the body or floor.
In addition to enlivening the show, in the past, tambourines and indang were used to set the dance tempo.
However, nowadays the types of musical instruments used are increasingly diverse, ranging from
marwas, percussion, tambourines, to violins.
Meanwhile, for the strains of dance accompaniment, there are also those who use modern musical instruments
such as the piano and accordion. Songs and dance verses will also be sung when the dance
Indang dance is a dance originating from the Padang Pariaman area, especially the Minangkabau tribe, West
Sumatra. This dance is also known as the badinding wall dance which later transformed into a
popular and well-known traditional art in Indonesia.
Based on its history, this dance is a dance resulting from acculturation or a mixture of culture between
Islamic culture and local culture, Minang. According to the story, the first appearance of this
indang dance was brought by Islamic scholars from the Aceh region to the land of Padang Pariaman.
At that time, this dance was used as a means of developing and spreading Islamic religious
teachings to the Minang community.
So #FriendsWithoutLimits, that’s an explanation about getting to know the Indang dance, from history to its
properties. Hopefully this is useful and can add to your understanding of traditional
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provides quality and original books so that Sinaumed’s has #MoreWithReading information.